Bolebec from Longueville, Normandy, and Giffard of Gloucestershire and Buckinghamshire
Osbern de Bolebec [a] b abt 952, Longueville, Normandy. He md Wevia [b] abt 970. She was b abt 954.
Children of Osbern de Bolebec and Wevia were:

Osbern de Bolebec b abt 990, Longueville, Normandy, d 1061.
Children of Osbern de Bolebec were:

  • Osbern Giffard b abt 1020. See LINE A
  • Walter Giffard b abt 1025. See LINE B

Osbern Giffard [c] b abt 1020, of Brimpsfield, Gloucestershire, England, d aft 1086. The identity of his wife is undetermined.
Child of Osbern Giffard was:

Elis I Giffard [d] b abt 1064, of Brimpsfield, Gloucestershire, England, d 1130. He md Ala abt 1088. She was b abt 1075.
Child of Elis I Giffard and Ala was:

Elis II Giffard [e] b abt 1110, of Brimpsfield, Gloucestershire, England. He md Berta de Clifford abt 1130, daughter of Richard Fitz Pons and Maud Fitz Walter.
Child of Elis II Giffard and Berta de Clifford was:

Elis III Giffard [f] b abt 1152, of Brimpsfield, Gloucestershire, England, d bef Michaelmas, 1190. He md Maud de Berkeley abt 1178, daughter of Sir Maurice Fitz Robert Fitz Harding, Lord of Berkeley, and Alice de Berkeley.
Child of Elis III Giffard and Maud de Berkeley was:

Sir Elis IV Giffard [g] b abt 1185, Gloucestershire, England, d bef 2 May 1248. He md [2] Alice Maltravers abt 1220, daughter of John Maltravers and Hawise. She was b abt 1205, d abt 1248.
Child of Elis IV Giffard and Alice Maltravers was:

Sir John Giffard [h], Lord Giffard, b 19 Jan 1231/32, Gloucestershire, England, d 29 May 1299, Boyton, Wiltshire, England. He md Maud de Clifford abt 1270, daughter of Walter de Clifford and Margaret/Margred verch Llewellyn.
Children of John Giffard and Maud de Clifford were:

  • Catherine Giffard b abt 1272, of Brimpsfield, Gloucestershire, England, d aft 1322. She md Nicholas de Audley abt 1288, son of James de Audley, Justiciar of Ireland, and Ela Longespee.
  • Eleanor Giffard b abt 1275, of Brimpsfield, Gloucestershire, England, d bef 23 Jan 1324/25. She md Sir Fulk le Strange, Lord of Blackmere, abt 1296, son of Robert le Strange and Eleanor de Whitchurch.
Sir Walter Giffard [i], Lord of Longueville, b abt 1025, of Longueville, Normandy, d 1084, England. He md Agnes Flatel abt 1042, daughter of Girard Flatel. She was b abt 1028.
Children of Walter Giffard and Agnes Flatel were:
Hugh I de Bolebec [j] b abt 1062, of Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire, England.
Child of Hugh I de Bolebec was:

Walter I de Bolebec [k] b abt 1106, of Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire, England, d abt 1194. He md Hawise/Helewise abt 1132. She was b abt 1115.
Child of Walter I de Bolebec and Hawise/Helewise was:

Hugh II de Bolebec b abt 1144/45, of Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire, England, d abt 1194. The identity of his wife is undetermined.
Child of Hugh II de Bolebec was:

Isabel de Bolebec b abt 1185, of Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire, England, d 2/3 Feb 1245. She md [1] Sir Robert de Vere, Magna Carta Surety, Earl of Oxford, Master Chamberlain, abt 1200, son of Sir Aubrey III de Vere, Earl of Oxford, Master Chamberlain, and Agnes of Essex. She md [2] Henry de Nonant aft 1221/22.

The exact descendancy of the earliest generations of this family are not known for certain, and finding a source which treats this line in its entirety has proven elusive. Most sources generally agree that Osbern de Bolebec, Lord of Longueville in Normandy is the earliest known progenitor, and that he married one of the three sisters of Gunnora, mistress, and later the wife of, Duke Richard I of Normandy.

a. According to the early writings of Robert de Torigny, one of Gunnora's sisters married Osbern de Bolebec, another married an unidentified forester of St. Vaast d'Equiqueville, and another married Torulf/Thorold of Pont-Audemer. Contemporary theory places Wevia as the wife of Osbern de Bolebec, Senfria as the wife of the unknown forester, and Duvelina as wife of Torulf/Thorold. Additionally, it is also believed that Torigny at times, inadvertently, compressed two generations of the same given name into one generation, and Moriarty also appears to have picked up this error in his article, Sargent-Gifford, in NEHGR. He shows Osbern de Bolebec and Avelina, sister to Duchess Gunnora, but making him contemporary with Duke Robert of Normandy, which is clearly a generation later than a sister of Gunnora. Thus, contemporary theory is that there were actually two successive de Bolebec generations named Osbern. This generational implausibility appears also in Ancestral Roots, which states that Walter Giffard, brother of Osbern Giffard, was a son of Osbern de Bolebec and Duvelina (a difference of opinion per which sister of Gunnora married which individual as mentioned above), which Walter was a companion of Duke William at the battle of Hastings. Thus, it is presumed that Osbern Giffard and Walter Giffard, brothers, were grandsons, not sons, of the first Osbern de Bolebec who married Wevia, and that the missing generation is another Osbern de Bolebec, who was the father of Walter and Osbern Giffard.

b. To see a brief descendancy chart of these four sisters, and their one known brother, click HERE.

c. Domesday tenant of Brimpsfield, Stoke, Rockhampton, Elston, Orcheston, etc. Along with his brother, Walter, he assumed the surname "Gyffarde". He fought with the Conqueror at Hastings, and was rewarded with vast grants of land in co. Gloucester, where he held the manors of Brimesfield, Rochemterne, Alderberie, and Stoche. His seat being at Brimesfield, eventually, during the time of King Stephen, a great castle was built there, although later destroyed by the army of Edward II in 1322.

d. Before 1096, he had succeeded to the lands of his father, Osbern Giffard. He is named in the 1090 chartulary of St. Peters of Gloucester, and his wife Ala and son Helias, appears in 1121 in the same chartulary. He was dead in 1130, when his son Elyas paid 100 marks for his relief.

e. In 1130 he rendered account of 100 marks of silver for the relief of his father's lands, being son and heir of Elis I, by Ala, his wife, and he is named, with his wife Berta and son Walter in the time of Abbot Hamelin, who was abbot from 1148-1179. He granted the church of Boyton to the monks for the soul of Berta, his wife, and this grant was later confirmed by his son Walter. He became a monk in Gloucester Abbey.

f. He died before Michaelmas 1090, when William le Mareschal owed 140 marks for the custody of the lands of Elis Giffard.

g. Under age at his father's death, he was entrusted to the custody of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. He is mentioned in 1221, and died in 1249, the date of his inq. p.m. By his first wife, Isabel Musard, he had three daughters, Matilda, Isabel, and Mabel, and by second wife Alice Maltravers, one son, Sir John.

h. Still a minor at his father's death, he joined several other Barons, and seized the Bishop of Hereford 11 Jun 1263, taking him to Eardisley Castle, and on 18 Sep following, he was among those who made a treaty with Edward, the King's son. In 1264, as a member of the Baronial party, and being in command of Kenilworth Castle, he surprised and destroyed Warwick Castle, taking the Earl and Countess prisoners. He was at the battle of Lewes, where he was taken prisoner. He changed sides together with the Earl of Gloucester and others, and was in the King's army at the battle of Evesham 4 Aug 1265. In consideration of his services at this battle, he was pardoned on 9 Oct 1265 for having been an adherent of Simon de Montfort at Lewes and for all trespasses committed up to that time. Thenceforth he appears to have been in the King's grace; he was one of the comissioners empowered to make a truce between Llewelyn ap Gruffyd, Prince of Wales, and Humphrey de Bohun of Brecknock, and had license to hunt wolves, with his own hounds, throughout all the King's forests in England. The King granted him, in fee, the commote of Is-Cennen in Carmarthen, and the castle of Dynevor, for life, and he was appointed Keeper of the castles of Llandovery in Carmarthen, and that of Builth in Brecknock. He was summoned for military service from 18 Jul 1257 to 7 May 1299, to attend the King at Shrewsbury, 28 Jun 1283, and at Salisbury, 26 Jan 1296/97, and to Parliament from 24 Jun 1295 to Apr 1299, whereby he became Lord Giffard. He was affianced to Aubrey de Camville at age 4 years, but did not marry her. He abducted his future first wife, Maud, widow of Sir William Longespee, against her will, for which John, appearing before the King, offered to pay a fine of 300 marks, to which the King ordained that if she were not content, the said fine should be void. She was still living 1 Dec 1281, but died s.p.m. not long after. John Giffard married secondly, in 1286, Margaret, the widow of Sir John de Neville. They had a son, John Giffard, who died s.p., when the descendants of two of his four half-sisters, namely Katherine and Alianore, were found to be his heirs.

i. As his brother had, he also assumed the surname "Gyffarde", and is called Walter Giffard the Elder in the histories of Vitalis and Jumieges. In 1035 he was a companion of his brother-in-law, Hugh de Gournay, in the abortive attempt of Edward, son of the King, to recover the crown of England. He gained renown in the war between Normandy and France, and in 1053, was left by Duke William in command of the forces blockading the castle of Arcques. When Duke William invaded England in 1066, Walter Gyffarde, then of advanced age, furnished 80 vessels and 100 men at arms. He married a daughter of Girard Flatel, whom is variously identified as Ermengarde and Agnes, the latter appearing to be the most accepted. They had three identified children, Walter (d 1102), William, the Bishop of Winchester, and Rohais, wife of Richard Fitz Gilbert, and there were several additional daughters whose names are not known. It should also be noted that while Moriarty and others place Walter as a brother of Osbern (progenitor of the Brimpsfield Giffards), there are some who express doubt, referring to the fact that Walter's daughter, Rohese, was his heir, where it would seem likely that if he were brother to Osbern, said Osbern's male descendants would have been the heirs. Irregardless, it is certain they were of the same family, as both bore identical heraldic devices.

j. The connection of Hugh I de Bolebec as son of Walter is doubted by most researchers because Walter's known daughter, Rohese, was his heir. But that he was closely related to this family is certain. In The Complete Peerage it is stated (ref: Round) that "Hugh I was a Domesday tenant of Walter Giffard, son of Walter Giffard, said to be son of Osbern de Bolebec". This would appear to place an additional Walter Giffard in the pedigree above. This amply illustrates the difficulty in pinpointing the specific descendancy of this family.

k. There is also some doubt that this Walter I de Bolebec was a son of Hugh I de Bolebec, although Keats-Rohan's Domesday People assumes this to be true, and this is the descendancy shown in Ancestral Roots as well. Again, the pivotal point in this arrangement is that Hugh I de Bolebec would have been brother to the heiress, Rohese Giffard, as mentioned above.
CP: Vol V[639-653]; AR: Line 42[30], Line 122[31], 184[1-2], Line 184B[7], Line 246[27], Line 259[29]; GL: English Origins of New England Families, Series 1, Volume 1, Gifford-Sargent, by G. Andrews Moriarty, pp. 595-596, 621-628, article originally appearing in NEHGR, republished by Genealogical Publishing Co.; RD: [438]; SGM.

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